Do you ever just have that lingering uneasy, nervous, anxious feeling? Because I do. Right now, actually. I can kind of feel it in my throat. In my chest a little. I know the feeling. I'm learning what it means, slowly, but surely, in this motherhood journey.
It's the feeling of letting go.
I remember right after I had Emeline, I had this overwhelming sense of needing to protect her at all times. In my post-baby-hormonal state, I sat in the nursery chair, staring into my tender, sweet, newborn baby eyes and thought, how can I keep all the bad in the world away from her?
I cried, actually. Worrying that one day I'll have to let go. One day I'll have no idea what happens behind the closed doors at school. Who bullies her. How she's influenced. That a boy could break her heart. And it hurt because there's a part of me that wants to cling to her and keep her in a little tight bubble with all the happy!things!, always.
The rational side of me knows that wasn't possible, and even if it was, isn't necessarily the right way, anyway. But that's how I felt at the time.
Flash forward to now.
My sweet first newborn baby is now a toddler. A much more independent, social, chatty toddler. And little bit by bit I can see that I'm needing to let go, despite the anxious fight I can feel inside my chest.
No one ever told me that little things, like her first swim class alone with just the instructor (and not me beside her) was going to feel this big. Or that the opportunity to send her to a 2.5 year preschool program would cause such a conflict in my mind, when I know, ultimately, she'll thrive. No one told me that motherhood is such an emotional one. With the constant thought of, is this best for them? for us? for their future?
Or maybe they did. And I just couldn't fully grasp it until I was there. Here. A mother. Making decisions and processing with my husband what's best for my kid. Like parents do. Feeling that anxious on-the-sidelines momma feel at swim class this morning. But I'm not in there to protect her.
Pre-school, at this age. Is it best for her? Will she do ok? Will the kids be nice? Will she be nice? Who will help her on the swings? Will she be safe?
It's in all these little anxious moments that I hear a quiet whisper. When I allow my mind to shut the heck up for a few minutes, He whispers to me. I'm her protector, Katie. She's mine. I knit her together in your womb. I created her. I'm watching all the time. You're her earthly guardian, but I'm her ultimate guardian. Just chill out already, I've got this.
In the end, I know it's true. God appointed us to be these girls' parents here on earth. He did. But ultimately, we're His. They're His. And all I can do is remind myself of that.
I know one day when we're making really big decisions...filling out college applications, worrying about boyfriends, and best friend fights, all of this stuff will feel like pish-posh. But it isn't. In this moment, that isn't how it feels. As a momma I just want to do what's best for my kid. I also know, in the rational part of my brain, that I cannot keep her from hurt. I can't keep her from heartache. Heck, I can't keep her from falling on the playground and scraping her knee.
It's not possible.
Letting go for me is trusting God. Trusting that without me, in the pool, she'll be okay. Trusting that she'll thrive in a preschool environment two mornings a week. Trusting that she'll be taken care of.
Letting go is trusting.